Steve Forrest, Performer on Film and TV’s ‘S.W.A.T.,’ Dies at 87
ABC, via Photofest
By MARGALIT FOX
Published: May 23, 2013
Steve Forrest, a strapping actor known to television viewers as Lt. Dan Harrelson on the 1970s action series “S.W.A.T.,” died on Saturday in Thousand Oaks, Calif. He was 87.
His family confirmed the death on Thursday.
A younger brother of the actor Dana Andrews, Mr. Forrest divided his career between the large and small screens. His early film credits include “So Big” (1953), based on the Edna Ferber novel, in which he played the adult son of Jane Wyman and Sterling Hayden; “Heller in Pink Tights” (1960), directed by George Cukor, in which he portrayed Anthony Quinn’s rival for Sophia Loren’s affections; and “The Longest Day” (1962), in which he played an American captain confronting D-Day.
In the 1950s and for decades afterward, Mr. Forrest played guest parts on a string of television shows, including “The Twilight Zone,” “Bonanza,” “Ironside,” “Gunsmoke” and “Dallas,” on which he had the recurring role of the poseur Wes Parmalee.
“S.W.A.T.,” broadcast on ABC from February 1975 to June 1976, followed the fortunes of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics unit. As the unit’s leader, Mr. Forrest’s character, known as Hondo, often uttered the trademark line “Let’s roll!” before taking the wheel of the team van and racing to the latest emergency.
Mr. Forrest made a cameo appearance — as the team van driver — in the 2003 feature film version of “S.W.A.T.,” which starred Samuel L. Jackson as Hondo.
William Forrest Andrews was born in Huntsville, Tex., on Sept. 29, 1925, the 12th of 13 children of Charles Andrews, a Baptist minister. After Army service in World War II, in which he fought at the Battle of the Bulge, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a major in theater and a minor in psychology.
He took the stage name Steve Forrest early in his career to distinguish himself from his brother.
Dana Andrews died in 1992 at 83. Mr. Forrest, who lived in Westlake Village, Calif., is survived by his wife, the former Christine Carilas, whom he married in 1948; three sons, Michael, Forrest and Stephen, all of whom use the last name Andrews; and four grandchildren.
His other film credits include “Prisoner of War” (1954), opposite Ronald Reagan; “Flaming Star” (1960), in which he played Elvis Presley’s half-brother; “North Dallas Forty” (1979); and “Mommie Dearest” (1981).
On Broadway, Mr. Forrest portrayed an Ivy League-educated aspiring prizefighter in the musical comedy “The Body Beautiful,” which ran for 60 performances in 1958.
For British television, he starred in “The Baron,” a well-received espionage series of the mid-1960s in which he played an antiques dealer moonlighting as an undercover agent.